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Ag 450 Farm celebrates 80 years

The+Ag+450+Learning+Farm+on+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+20%2C+2023.+This+year%2C+the+farm+is+celebrating+its+80th+anniversary+of+operation+with+tours+and+a+light+breakfast+from+8-11+a.m.+on+Sept.+23%2C+at+the+farm.
Daniel Jacobi II
The Ag 450 Learning Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. This year, the farm is celebrating its 80th anniversary of operation with tours and a light breakfast from 8-11 a.m. on Sept. 23, at the farm.

Iowa State University’s Ag 450 Farm is celebrating 80 years of progress. The department of agricultural education and studies is holding an anniversary celebration this weekend. All alumni, students and friends of the farm are invited to join.

Skyler Rinker, assistant teaching professor of agriculture education and studies, said the farm was established in 1943. 

“We’ve been able to sustain 80 years now,” Rinker said. “I think it’s a true testament to Dr. William Murray, who was the individual and faculty member who designed and had the idea for this course, but then for all the instructors and the farm operators and the students and student employees that have worked out here have been able to keep the farm going for 80 years is phenomenal.”

The farm has seen the ups and downs of the ag economies over the years and has been able to withstand those challenges, Rinker said. 

The students involved in the event spoke about what it means to be an agricultural studies student.

Carla Edleman, senior in agricultural studies, said being in Iowa and in the Midwest, the heart of corn, soy and livestock production, sets ISU agriculture apart from everywhere else. 

A firepit outside of the Ag 450 Learning Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. This year, the farm is celebrating its 80th anniversary of operation with tours and a light breakfast from 8-11 a.m. on Sept. 23, at the farm. (Daniel Jacobi II)

The Ag 450 Farm saw its very first crop planted in 1943 and began beef production less than 20 years later.

Over the years students have purchased more acres, upgraded their machinery, entered in crop share agreements and rented local cropland.

Blake Price, senior in agricultural studies, said that the class has been working with the alumni department to get RSVPs, set up decorations and look through archives for pictures in past years. 

Price said that agriculture is special to her because it impacts everyone, even when they do not know it.

“Folks can expect to see the farm, take a look at changes that have happened recently, and if it’s for folks that have not been out here for a while, I think they will notice several larger changes just in terms of what the facilities look like [and] what the landscape looks like,” Rinker said. “If its individuals haven’t ever been to the farm, there will be opportunities to learn more about what the 450 Farm is and also learn more about the class and the structure and what students experience out here.”

The event will be held from 8-11 a.m. Saturday at the Ag 450 Farm, located at 52097 260th St. 

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